Irked over the remark by the chief minister on the bullet proof jackets, the Bombay High Court said the CM should be given one such jacket.
“Remove his protection and give him only the jacket. Then he will know how safe it (jacket) is,” said Justice J.N. Patel.
He issued a notice to the state government to reply on a public interest litigation, alleging irregularity purchase of substandard bullet-proof jackets for the Mumbai police force which had led to the death of some of the top policemen during 26/11.
Despite knowing that the file had gone missing and without conducting a preliminary inquiry, Chief Minister Ashok Chavan had said in a press conference that there were no irregularities over bullet-proof jackets, says the petition. The division bench of Justices J.N. Patel and Amjad Sayed was hearing a petition filed by social activist Santosh Daundkar on irregularities in buying the jackets.
Justice Patel asked whether the petitioner was aware of the standard of bullet-proof jackets used in foreign countries and asked him to give more information. Y.P. Singh, the petitioner’s advocate, told the court that after the Mazgaon court order, a FIR has been lodged in the case of the missing jacket of slain ATS chief Hemant Karkare.
The petition seeks thorough testing of the jackets by the Defence Research and Development Organisation or the army.
According to the petition, the jackets were purchased from NTB Hi Tech Ceramics — a company which is not in the business of producing specialised nylon-based armour for bullet-proof jackets. It only manufactures industrial ceramics.
The NTB re-supplied the jackets by December 2004 which were used on 26/11 last year.